Preparations are beginning on a multi-million pound project to change the face of South College Street in Aberdeen – but it is still not clear when the work will begin.
Improvements for the busy road to tackle congestion in the centre were first proposed 17 years ago in 2004.
Now city council bosses are preparing for work to start with firms invited to tender for a £7million contract for the first phase of the project.
What improvements are planned for South College Street?
The first phase of the project will involve dualling South College Street with an extra lane for traffic between Bank Street and the A93 Wellington Place.
There will also be another lane created on Palmerston Place to ease the flow of motorists in the city centre.
Meanwhile, a new junction with traffic lights will be created at the junction of Palmerston Place and North Esplanade West.
And existing traffic-light junctions on South College Street with Wellington Place and Palmerston Place will be altered to provide additional capacity.
There are also plans for new pavements and cycle paths in the area.
It is expected that the work will take 10 months to complete.
Nearly 20 years of delays
Proposals to duel South College Street were first discussed as early as 2004 – and it is still unclear when the improvements will be complete.
Work was due to start in 2009 but was halted when the council’s capital plan was amended.
A revised blueprint was ordered in November 2017 but other priorities kept the long-awaited plan from progressing.
In September 2019 it was confirmed the scheme would finally progress with hopes it would be completed in autumn 2021.
The coronavirus pandemic intervened to prevent that estimate from being met.
Late last year it was hoped work to finally begin constructing the improvements would start in summer 2021 and be completed in summer next year.
However, work on the scheme is yet to begin.
Aberdeen City Council was asked to provide a revised estimate on when construction is now expected to start – but declined to comment.
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